On April 15 at around 6.30 pm, a fire broke out in the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. The fire spread rapidly because of the windy conditions at the time and destroyed the spire and roof of the 850-year-old iconic structure. It was fully extinguished many hours later at around 9.30 am the next day.
Official investigations so far have concluded that most likely there was an electrical short-circuit. Though the investigation is only in its initial phase, the uncovered evidence have led investigators to believe that the horrific events of last week was just accidental. This is considering the fact that they have not yet searched for evidence in the interior of the cathedral to further substantiate the hypothesis―primarily due to safety risks. Nevertheless, the Paris prosecutor’s office has conveyed that they have not yet ruled out other causation theories and that they are adamant to look into all possible leads.
Social media users, however, have sparked controversy by stating that the most probable cause―an electrical short-circuit―is not substantial enough to instigate a fire as great as the Notre-Dame blaze.
#Breaking: The French news site @le_Parisien has made a video, that the wood "oak" does not burn that quickly and that it takes time to get ignited and burn like it did at the cathedral de #NotreDame de #Paris. And speculates that a electrical shortcut would be impossible to burn pic.twitter.com/qDxDcwFCrf— Sotiri Dimpinoudis ❁ (@sotiridi) 22 April 2019
The video states that they cannot verify the validity and credibility of their information; by the end of the video, it is acknowledged that it was created by “amateurs”. Nonetheless, it should not be disregarded that such unsubstantiated claims is actually being considered by the readers. They are considering it seriously enough to raise doubts whether the official theory is real.
After seeing several demonstrations of blow torches failing to set light to oak beams despite fierce heat trained at close range for 5 minutes at a single point I think it's fair to say a short circuit wasn't the cause of the #NotreDame fire.— Lee Morgan (@LMY746) 21 April 2019
WHAT WAS THE CAUSE?#Paris
These doubts are invariably raising the question “what was the real cause?”
Among other theories is the recent find of a “computer glitch” in the fire alarm system. Reportedly, the alarm system went off at around 6 pm. For reasons unclear, there was a computer bug which misdirected the police of the location causing them to be late to the scene of the fire by 23 minutes.
Furthermore, one of the most controversial theories out there is the suspicion of arson. This is despite the fact that police officials have said there seems to be the least substantial evidence to support a criminal intent behind the blaze.
As the Paris prosecutor said, the investigation will be “long and complex”. In time, most likely within a few months, social media users whose minds have been prodding with doubt and have subsequently shared such with their fellow users will finally have the answer to their questions. In time, the world will get a much-needed answer as to what caused an architectural icon such as the Notre-Dame, which has withstood wars and plague, to suffer a terrible fate with the fire.